Sales of North American-based packaging machinery supplier solutions reached $6.11 billion in 2006 and are forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 3.1 percent through 2009, to reach $6.689 billion. Globally, total packaging machinery sales reached $31 billion in 2006. North American manufacturers provided 20 percent of the packaging solutions sold worldwide. In parallel, U.S. demand for packaging machinery solutions reached $6.6 billion in 2006, with North American-based manufacturers providing 77 percent of the packaging solutions sold. Recent PMMI studies indicate that the competitive advantages of North American packaging machinery manufacturers and the benefits of the weaker U.S. dollar abroad is expected to further boost U.S. exports. Exports reached $707 million from October 2006 through October 2007, and are expected to eclipse $1 billion for 2007.